Make this Dhaba Style Egg Curry under 30 mins, on the stovetop or in the Instant pot. This comforting Indian dish of boiled eggs simmered in a spicy onion tomato gravy is super delicious, flavorsome and simple to make. This egg curry has all those tasty and rustic flavors of the dhaba food that’s sure to impress everyone. Not too spicy and hot but you will experience a burst of those amazing flavors! Serve this with roti, Tandoori Naan, Plain Parathas, plain basmati rice or Jeera rice. Don’t forget to finish your meal with a Lassi or Masala Chaas!
Egg curry is a comforting Indian dish of curried eggs. It is basically made with hard boiled eggs, onions, tomatoes, whole & ground spices and herbs. Indian cuisine is very diverse and an egg curry is made in several ways, with recipes varying by state and even by family.
You can make an egg curry in countless ways and I have shared more than 10 ways on this blog to make curried eggs. But this Punjabi dhaba style egg curry is very special & my family loves this.
For the uninitiated, Dhabas are roadside budget restaurants hugely popular in India. You are sure to find a dhaba on the outskirts/ suburbs of every town and city all over India. At one time, these existed on the Highways for the convenience of truck drivers & travelers but in the recent years dhabas are everyone’s favorite.
Whether travelling on a highway or not, people visit there more often just to enjoy the Dhaba food.
Most Punjabi Dhabas serve a basic menu with limited options but their food is super flavorful and delicious. You will always find comforting dishes like Dal Fry, Dal Tadka, Tandoori Roti, Naan, Jeera rice and Egg curry (only in places serving meat).
This Dhaba style Egg curry is so good and is close to what you get in a Punjabi dhaba, except for the amount of oil and ghee since we prefer lesser in our everyday foods. A typical dhaba curry has lots of oil oozing out of the gravy and if this is what you like, please feel free to use more oil or ghee as mentioned in my notes below.
About The Recipe
Onions and tomatoes form the base of this dish and you can use them in one of the 3 forms – fine chopped, grated or pureed. The flavor and texture of your egg curry depends on how you use them. For a chunky egg curry, they can be used chopped.
But onion and tomato puree gives the best results as this recipe does not use any other ingredient like cream, nuts or gram flour which is otherwise used in a lot of Indian dishes. I personally prefer the pureed version as my boys are super fussy to chunky curries.
How to Make Egg Curry (Stepwise photos)
1. Firstly fine chop 2 medium onions, about 1 to 1 ¼ cup fine chopped onions.
Optional – If you want a smooth curry, then you have to puree the onions in a grinder. Raw onion puree tastes bitter most of the times so it is essential to boil them prior to pureeing. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Then add 2 cubed onions and boil for 4 to 5 minutes. This will remove the raw and pungent smell of the onions. Drain and grind them without adding water.
2. Make a fine paste and keep this aside in a bowl.
3. Fine chop or puree 3 medium tomatoes. I went ahead making a puree. Blend chopped tomatoes in the same blender jar.
4. Set this aside as well.
5. Pat dry and prick the boiled eggs with fork 2 to 3 times, so they don’t burst while frying. Heat half tablespoon oil or ghee in a non-stick pan and fry them until golden & blistered. If you prefer to spice them, turn off the stove and sprinkle 1 pinch each of red chilli powder and garam masala. Keep them aside.
Make Onion Tomato Masala
6. Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a pan. You can use the same pan used to fry eggs. Using whole spices is optional & feel free to skip whatever you don’t have. I use the following spices:
- 1 small bay leaf
- ½ inch cinnamon
- 2 green cardamom
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (optional)
- 2 cloves (optional)
7. When the spices begin to sizzle, add onions. Saute until golden and the raw smell goes away completely. This does take time, so be patient.
8. Next add 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste and saute well until the raw smell goes away.
9. Add tomatoes. Saute until the mixture thickens and raw smell goes away.
10. Then add the following spice powders & other ingredients:
- ½ to 1 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ to 1 teaspoon garam masala (adjust to taste)
- 1 teaspoon sugar (to balance the flavors)
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
11. Fry the onion tomato masala until it begins to smell really good and oil begins to separate. Takes about 2 to 4 mins. I haven’t used much oil here so oil is not visible. But dhaba style anda curry is made with more oil.
Make Egg Curry
12. Pour 1 to 1¼ cups water to make a gravy. Mix well and boil the gravy until it thickens. When it is done you will see some traces of oil on the gravy. Taste test the gravy and add more salt if needed.
13. Add the fried eggs and give a gentle stir. Cover & cook on a low heat for 2 to 3 minutes for the eggs to absorb the flavors. Optional – take ¼ teaspoon kasuri methi in your palm, crush them and add it here.
13. Optional for creamy curry – Meanwhile blend together 10 cashews with 4 to 5 tablespoons water to smooth milk. Then pour it and cook for 1 to 2 mins until the curry turns thick. Or you can just add 3 to 4 tablespoons of cream. Sprinkle coriander leaves. Serve punjabi egg curry with naan, rice, roti or paratha.
In this post I have shown how a Punjabi dhaba style egg curry is made. But the tips mentioned below will help you swap in some ingredients for the other depending on your taste & availability of the ingredients.
1. Whole spices: Cumin, bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamoms & cloves are the whole spices that are used in a egg curry. However you can use whatever you have in hand. Even one or 2 kinds of spices will enhance the aroma of the dish. If you have mustard seeds just go ahead and use them.
2. Ginger garlic: I have used ginger garlic paste. It can be replaced with minced, crushed or grated ginger garlic.
3. Onions: To make a egg curry, most people use finely chopped or grated onions. Using chopped onions will yield a slightly chunky egg curry. You can use in any form you like.
4. Tomatoes: This recipe can be made with fine chopped or pureed tomatoes. Pureed tomatoes will prevent the curry from turning watery. In some places, I have seen Dhaba style egg curry is made with grated tomatoes.
A basic egg curry is made without any cream, cashews or coconut milk. We Indians make most regular curries without any of those. Only for occasions I do add them. Here are some variations you can make to the egg curry.
1. Cream : If you prefer a creamy egg curry, then add in 3 to 4 tbsps of cream towards the end.
2. Cashews : You can also add about 10 cashews to add a milky aroma to the gravy. They also add volume to the dish.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 4 to 5 boiled eggs
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon ghee or oil
- 1¼ cups onions fine chopped or 2 medium onions diced, boiled & pureed
- 1 cup tomatoes finely chopped or 3 medium tomatoes pureed
- 1 green chilli (optional) chopped or slit
- 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste or finely minced
- ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- 1 to 1 ¼ cup water (adjust slightly as needed)
- 1 tablespoons coriander leaves chopped finely
- ¼ teaspoon Kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves, optional)
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- 4 tablespoons cream or 10 cashews blended with ½ cup water (optional)
Whole spices (skip if you do not have)
- 1 small bay leaf
- 1 small cinnamon piece
- 2 green cardamoms
- ½ to 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
- ½ to 1 teaspoon garam masala (refer notes)
- ½ to 1 teaspoon coriander powder (optional)
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
- Fine chop or puree the onions. If you prefer to puree the onions, first boil diced onions in 2 cups of water for 4 mins until transparent. Drain the water and puree them in a blender.
- Refer notes below to boil eggs perfectly. Wipe dry the boiled eggs or air dry until moist free. Prick each egg with a fork 2 to 3 times. We do this so the eggs don't splatter oil and burst in the pan while frying.
- Heat 1 teaspoon ghee or oil in a nonstick pan & Fry the eggs until golden & slightly blistered. Remove the eggs to a plate & optionally sprinkle 2 to 3 pinches each of chilli powder & garam masala.
How to Make Egg Curry
- Heat 2 tbsp oil and add bay leaf, cardamoms and cinnamon.
- When they begin to sizzle, add onions & green chilli. Saute onions until golden and the raw smell has almost gone.
- Add ginger garlic paste and saute until the raw smell goes off, for about a minute.
- Then add tomatoes and saute well until the mixture turns mushy.
- Next add red chili powder, garam masala, coriander powder, turmeric, sugar and salt. Saute everything well until a nice aroma comes out & the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.
- Pour water 1 to 1¼ cups water and mix well. Cover and cook until the curry thickens and you see traces of oil over the curry.
- Taste test and adjust salt. Add the fried eggs and kasuri methi. Mix and simmer for a while. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves. Serve punjabi egg curry with roti or naan or plain rice.
- Optional – Pour 3 to 4 tbsps cream or Blend together 10 cashews with half cup water to smooth milk. Pour it to the curry. Cook covered for 2 to 3 mins until the curry turns thick.
Instant pot egg curry
- Press saute button and add oil to the inner pot of the Instant pot. Add spices & bay leaf.
- Add ginger garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Then add the tomatoes and salt.
- Fry until the tomatoes breakdown. Add chilli powder and turmeric. Saute for a min.
- When the cumin begins to sizzle add onions and green chilli. Saute until the onions turn light golden.
- Then pour 1 cup water and deglaze the pot by scrubbing the bottom of the pot with the spatula.
- Place a long leg trivet. Place your basmati rice bowl. Cover it. Then place the eggs in another bowl. Cover it.
- Secure the IP with the lid. Position the steam release handle to sealing.
- Press the pressure cook button (high pressure). Set the timer to 7 mins.
- When the IP is done, press the cancel button.
- When the pin drops, open the lid. Do a quick manual release by moving the steam release handle from sealing to venting. You can also wait for 5 mins for a natural release.
- Pour cold water to the eggs and let them cool down. Peel the eggs and prick them with a fork.
- Press the saute button and simmer the eggs in the curry for a minute. Then pour the cream or cashew milk or coconut milk.
- Stir well and cook until the curry thickens. Taste and add more salt if needed. Turn off and garnish with coriander leaves.
- You can use onion chopped, grated or pureed. If you prefer to puree, then boil cubed onions in 2 cups water for 2 to 3 mins until they turn transparent. Cool and make a paste.
- If using a stronger garam masala, use half tsp of it along with 1/2 to 1 tsp coriander powder.
- To make the gravy richer pour 4 tbsps of cream or blend 10 cashews in a blender with half cup water to smooth milk. You can also substitute with coconut milk.
- For a chunky egg curry, skip pureeing the onions. Just use the fine chopped onions.
- To a pot add 3 to 4 cups of water. Rinse the eggs & gently place them in the pot. Cover & boil the eggs on a medium flame until you see cracks on at least one of the eggs. Turn off the stove and rest for 10 mins.
- Discard the water & keep the eggs immersed in cold water until the temperature cools down. Shell the eggs gently and pat dry. Prick them with a fork so they absorb the flavors.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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